The Kiddy Pool: Waiting on Faith and a Fictional Goose

Every week in The Kiddy Pool, Erin Newcomb confronts one of many issues that parents must deal with related to popular culture.My elder daughter has developed a mild obsession with the book Here Comes Gosling, written by Sandy Asher and illustrated by Keith Graves. The story tells the tale of a frog who spends all day eagerly preparing a party to meet his friends’ new baby gosling. Froggie even makes up a song about waiting, and repeats the song and the line “Can’t wait!” until the baby arrives … [Read more...]

Sex & Thrones: Four Christian Views on Sex in “Game of Thrones”

Image Credit: Seth Hahne

There are two things you should know about Game of Thrones (otherwise known as the epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire). It is among the best epic fantasy stories ever written (sorry, Wheel of Time) and it is for "mature" readers/viewers only, really.Ever since HBO premiered their adaptation of the first novel last April, the popularity of the series has grown tremendously. The first episode of Season One attracted 2.2 million viewers (Wiki). By the season finale of the second seas … [Read more...]

Citizenship Confusion: Why Christians Should Read Disturbing, Dark, and Secular Fiction

catchercover

Every Monday in Citizenship Confusion, Alan Noble discusses how we confuse our heavenly citizenship with citizenship to the state, culture, and the world.This summer I have been somewhat dutifully working on my dissertation, which will address the manifestation of signals of transcendence in Twentieth Century American Fiction. Whatever that means. (Maybe I'll tell you when I know.) In preparing to write, I recently re-read what many would consider to be a quintessential "dark" or "depr … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: Writers in the Church

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians.A couple weeks ago the New York Times Book Review published an essay by Roger Rosenblatt entitled "The Writer in the Family." I loved it, in all its self-effacing candor. Rosenblatt begins: So there I stood at the front of my granddaughter Jessica’s fourth-grade classroom, still as a glazed dog, while Jessie introduced me to her classmates, to whom I was about to speak. “This is my … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: Christ and the Gothic

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians.Like all good criticism, Elizabeth Lowry's recent review of Victoria Nelson's Gothica is worth reading on its own merits. The book, in brief, looks at the revival of Gothic horror tropes (e.g., vampires, werewolves, zombies) and theorizes that they signal a new religion on the horizon. The argument is that the new wave of Gothic revivalism involves union with things that were once … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: Is Science Fiction un-Christian?

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians.While I don't know how widespread this perception is, I've had several people -- all of them pastors or lay Bible teachers -- immediately ask me something like, “Isn't the worldview of science fiction inherently anti- or at least un-Christian, since it views science as the ultimate savior of mankind?” after discovering that I'm a fan of the genre. The first few times this happ … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: Grace, Love and Literary Masterpieces

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians.Lately I've been doing a lot of re-reading. This started sort of by accident, when I decided to re-read all ten volumes of the Sandman sequence of graphic novels. I did that purposely enough, but what I hadn't counted on was that Sandman is, for me, the sort of story that, upon finishing, basically renders all other stories lacking. I don't want to read any other fiction … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: The Case for Franny and Zooey

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians.When J.D. Salinger died a couple years ago, it made the news for approximately an hour. These days, when I poll a roomful of high-school-educated people, often no one recognizes his name; however, when I mention the title The Catcher in the Rye, there is usually everything from groans to grins of recognition.This is probably because Catcher is one of those books, the ones … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: NOT Finding God in Literature

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians.This may seem somewhat hypocritical considering my Hunger Games column of a few weeks ago, but today I’m going to talk partly about how not to find God in works of literature.It seems as though every time a novel is made into a popular movie, thereby popularizing or re-popularizing the novel, we inevitably see a book with a title like Finding God in [Fill-in-the-blank]. This is n … [Read more...]

Books Besides the Bible: Mornings in Jenin and the Trouble with Meta-Narratives

Every Monday in Books Besides the Bible, Ethan Bartlett considers the value and pleasure of reading for Christians. In a bid to scare almost everyone off of my column forever, this week I’m going to talk about meta-narratives.A meta-narrative is a somewhat discredited, but still sometimes useful, concept in literature. It refers to a sort of over-story, a framework story into which a lot of smaller narratives fit. The term “manifest destiny” (the 19th-century idea that the United States was d … [Read more...]


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X